What is ‘Razz’?
‘Razz’, or ‘Razz poker’, is the common name for the lowball variant of seven-card stud. It appears in many American and European casinos and card rooms and is also available at many online casino websites. Razz is a popular game which features as an event at the World Series of Poker, and it has several variants of its own such as ‘London Lowball’.
Poker players who like a different challenge and enjoy playing unusual versions of the game will probably have encountered ‘Razz’. Razz is essentially seven-card stud, except that the game plays to lowball rules. Players are aiming to hold the lowest five cards, instead of the highest five. It differs slightly from regular lowball games because the straight and flush hands do not count as low against the player. In Razz, the Ace moves to the bottom of the pack so it remains the most desirable hand to hold. The equivalent of the royal flush is the ‘wheel’ – a suited or offsuit five card set of A-2-3-4-5.
The game is much like seven-card stud in every other sense. Players receive two hidden cards and one that is face up, followed by a series of up cards and a final seventh hidden card. Players aim to build the best five-card hand they can – i.e. the lowest – and if theirs is the best at the table, they win the pot. Occasionally, a variant of Razz will be played where the high-low split is active, and the pot is split between the best high hand at the table and the best low one. There is also a form of Razz known as London Lowball, which has the same rules except that the straights and flushes do rank higher than the offsuit wheel.